Gregor Schneider 7–8:30 PM, 05.31.2007
May 31, 2007 | Magazin der Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin

Photo: Nicolas Kantor

Gregor Schneider’s project for the Magazin of the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden engages the audience in the disturbing experience of uncertainty. Its title, 7–8:30 PM, 05.31.2007, refers to the exact time frame of an event, an occurrence whose nature remains unknown. Through subtle interventions Schneider creates awareness of fundamental questions with regard to space and public and puts spectator’s heightened sensations, memories, and fears at the center of their experience. Schneider’s project is the first presentation of the international renowned artist in Berlin after 13 years and his first work within the context of theater.
While Schneider’s performance is reminiscent of the history of performance art’s “durational time,” he places 7–8:30 PM 31.05.2007 within the acute context of contemporary art. How can one organize a mass of people in a space with the simplest of means? This was the question that triggered the process in Gregor Schneider’s mind when he began to conceive the organization of the project for the Magazin der Staatsoper. Or is this a case – as Boris Groys proclaims in his description of the installation – of architecture itself becoming art? How close – also in Schneider’s oeuvre in general – are the topoi of the traditionally separated concepts of Installation and Performance? Which roles are taken on by the public, the spectator, or the agent? Is the position of the spectator the essence of the spectacle? How does the “composition” – that is, the arrangement of the public – appear, especially in consideration of the architectural frame of the Magazin building itself? Which bodily and psychic experiences are being manipulated and reanimated within the controlled “Situationist” setting of 7–8:30 PM 31.05.2007?

What do 800 people expect from the artist Schneider, who is often cited as “the most uncanny artist of the contemporary”? In the expectation of a “Schneider experience,” what are they prepared to let themselves get involved with? Can the public be left alone? Can a radical aberration of the expected redemption be aesthetically received? With its much-publicized Grand Tour, is this art-summer 2007 the manifestation of a perpetual classification, expectation, participation, that distinguishes the distingué from the arriviste, the privileged from the rank and file? “ In the Magazin, those waiting are waiting exclusively for the Magazin. Ergo, those waiting in line become the event itself. Quite simply, Schneider has constructed a space with people.” (Holger Liebs, Süddeutsche Zeitung)
from Daniela Zyman: Killing Time, in: Gregor Schneider. 7–8:30 PM 05.31.2007 (Walther König: Köln 2007)
Dramaturgical Counsel: Andras Siebold in collaboration with Daniela Zyman
Extras: Khaled Abdo, Michel Ackermann, Serikanda Agus, Tamer Alag.z, Maria Augusto, Lisa Baeblich, Oksana B.r, Sofiane Benbrahim, Michael Bendler, Peter Bennettrice, Josephine
Berndt, Ingelore-Loretta Blisse, Josephine B.decker, Julian Boehme, Peter Bomballa, André Cerisier, Waltraud Claas, Ali Coskuner, Monika Czerminska, Sila Davulcu, Navid Ebrahimi, Gisela Ernst, Regina Freymann, Angela Frick, Sebastian Fuhrmann, Lukasz Gasior, Manuela Antonie Graumann, Nadine Gruhn, Harald Günther, Dietmar Guthke, Heinz Haack, Evelyn
Handrich, Ilona Hausl, Marina Hesse, Antje Hinz, Jana Honczek, Walter H.tte, Jana Honczek, Daniela Ihden, Ulzima Jargalant, Frank Kessler, Dina Kleinschmidt, Yulia Kletsina, Anna Koch,
Bernd Kostrau, Andreas Kucklick, Dirk Langer, Michaela Laurent, Dirk Lodder, Andr. Lubitz, Anastasios Mavrogenidis, Manfred Mayer, Sylvia Mehler, Lee Ann Mumford, Rahel Nestler,
Carsten Neufeld, Gerd Neumann, Adam Olejnik, Sieglinde Oppert, Ingo Pagels, Mike Pasda, Thorsten Penski, Thilo Peschliebig, Ingelore Pfennigs, Silvia Pohl, Walter Prügett, Christine Räk, Frank Reichelt, Thomas Reimann, Helena Rieke-Riekeova, Thomas Reimann, Anita Rommel, Michael Rommel, Alfonso Santoso, Andr. Schällig, Andrea Schmidt, Christa Schmidt, Heinz Schönherr, Rosemarie Scholz, Heinz Sch.nherr, Felicitas Schreier, Anna Schwarzkopf, Brigitta Schwarzkopf, Henrietta Schwarzkopf, Melitta Schwarzkopf, Doris Schwarzkopf-Bohn, Jutta Torkler-Schulz, Denise Valtin, Mohiedin Wehby, Marco Wiedemeyer, Jeanette Winter, Dieter Wissmann, Rainer Wulf, Alexander Yassin, Gisela Zabel (Agentur “Wanted“)
Ushers Coordinator: Denise Barthelmeus
Attendants: Tamara Atanasova, Marcus Engel, Sascha Glaser, Silvio Heger, Guna Kanepe, Malgorzata Kozak, Svetlana Krickovic, Lali Albert Mahazi, Abdullah Nitardy, Behcet Üstüntas, David Unseld, Jan Wiebener
Photos: Nicolas Kantor
Video documentary: Alex Seidenstücker (Kobalt Productions)
Gregor Schneider
19–20:30 Uhr 31.05.2007
7:00–8:30 PM 05.31.2007

Edited by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary
and Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin
Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln

With contributions by Thomas Macho, Susanne Pfeffer, Thomas Raab, András Siebold, Daniela Zyman
105 pages, German/English 
Design: Jens Pieper (Floor5 Design)
ISBN: 978-3-86560-341-8
Commissioned by
Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin, and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna. Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.
May 31, 2007
Magazin der Staatsoper Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden, 7, 10117 Berlin